Biden Campaign Reveals VP May Have Met Hunter's Ukraine Business Execs 'Unofficially'
Team Biden says no 'official' meet with associates, refuses to deny informal meetings
Joe Biden's presidential campaign has responded to Hunter Biden's emails, published in the bombshell New York Post story, claiming that the former vice president never met with his son's Ukraine business associates in an "official" capacity.
The emails were retrieved from Hunter's old laptop after the hard drive was copied and handed over to the Post, who published the explosive contents on Wednesday.
The “smoking gun email” in question reveals that Hunter introduced his then-vice president father to his Ukraine business partner in 2015, shortly before Joe Biden withheld aid from the Ukrainian government.
According to an email dated April 17, 2015, Joe Biden, who was the sitting vice president at the time, met in person with Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma Holdings.
The email appears to prove that Joe Biden lied when he said he’s “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”
However, by denying that the ex-VP met with Pozharskyi officially, the campaign for the Democratic presidential nominee inadvertently admitted that it’s possible that Biden may have met with the Burisma executive informally by refusing to deny that they met "unofficially."
The Biden campaign released a statement condemning reporting from the New York Post that revealed an email alleging that Biden’s son Hunter brokered a meeting between his father and Pozharskyi, an adviser to Burisma’s board.
The campaign ruled out any "official" meetings between Pozharskyi and the former vice president but could not say that the two never met.
"We have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told Politico.
"Investigations by the press, during impeachment, and even by two Republican-led Senate committees whose work was decried as ‘not legitimate’ and political by a GOP colleague have all reached the same conclusion: that Joe Biden carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing.
"Trump administration officials have attested to these facts under oath.”
Despite the strong condemnation, Bates could not say for certain that Vice President Biden and Pozharskyi did not meet in an informal setting, however.
As Politico reports:
Biden’s campaign would not rule out the possibility that the former VP had some kind of informal interaction with Pozharskyi, which wouldn’t appear on Biden’s official schedule.
But they said any encounter would have been cursory.
Pozharskyi did not respond to a request for comment.
On Wednesday, The New York Post published an April 17, 2015 email from Vadym Pozharskyi addressed to Hunter Biden to thank him for setting up a meeting between Pozharskyi and then-Vice President Biden.
The email was sent roughly a year after Hunter Biden had joined the board of Burisma.
The younger Biden was reportedly paid a salary of $50,000 a month despite having no experience working in the energy sector.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent (sic) some time together. It’s realty (sic) an honor and pleasure,” the email says.
“As we spoke yesterday evening, would be great to meet today for a quick coffee.
"What do you think? I could come to you (sic) office somewhere around noon or so, before or on my way to [the] airport.”
The email calls into question Joe Biden's previous claims of ignorance about his son’s business dealings in foreign countries.
In September 2019, Biden denied ever discussing his son’s overseas business dealings with him.
“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden told a reporter.
Biden then added that President Trump should be investigated for “trying to intimidate a foreign leader,” referring to a July 2019 phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
At the end of 2015, Vice President Biden, who was leading U.S. diplomatic relations with Ukraine at the time, began pushing the Ukrainian government to take action against Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
At the time, Shokin was investigating Burisma for alleged corruption.
Biden famously withheld $1 billion in U.S. military aid to Ukraine until the Ukrainian Parliament voted to remove Shokin from office in March 2016.
Ukraine eventually received the aid and the investigation into Burisma disappeared.